Author: Karen Kincy
First published July 1, 2010
336 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780738719191 (ISBN10: 0738719196)
Gwen has a secret that could cost her everything. She longs to embrace her shapeshifting abilities, but in a world where being different is frowned upon, she must keep her abilities hidden.
In the small town of Klikamuks, Washington, people like Gwen are not welcome, and coming out as an Other could be deadly. Even her boyfriend, Zack, doesn’t know the truth.
But when a pack of werewolves stakes their claim on the forest behind her house, the town’s tensions reach a boiling point. Amidst the chaos, Gwen discovers that a serial killer is targeting Others.
With prejudice slowing the police investigation, Gwen must rely on her own instincts to catch the killer. Along the way, she meets Tavian, a charming Japanese fox-spirit who challenges her to embrace her shapeshifting abilities.
Can Gwen uncover the killer’s identity before it’s too late? Or will her secret be the death of her?
About the Author
When Karen Kincy isn’t busy coding, she enjoys writing books. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and Literature from The Evergreen State College, as well as a Master’s degree in Computational Linguistics from the University of Washington.
Other by Karen Kincy: A Unique Twist to Shapeshifter Novels
Karen Kincys Other is a refreshing and captivating take on shapeshifter novels that will leave readers wanting more. The book, first published on July 1, 2010, is set in the town of Pacific Northwest, where the existence of werewolves is known, but the social divide between humans and Others (those with the ability to shapeshift into animals) remains palpable.
Kincy, an American author with a background in graphic design and illustration, showcases her knowledge of intricate world-building in Other, which blends elements of fantasy, romance, and thriller genres. The story follows seventeen-year-old Gwen Hobson, who discovers she is an Other after shifting into a cougar for the first time.
Gwen learns she belongs to the Redwood Pack, one of four werewolf packs that inhabit the town. However, Gwen is a jack-of-all-trades Other, making her an outsider, and causing her to choose which pack to join complicated.
The author skillfully sets the stage for the complexities that an Other faces, including navigating the power struggle between packs, and the tensions between humans and Others. Kincy also explores social themes that are relevant today, such as prejudice, acceptance, and friendship, all woven into the story with a sense of fluidity.
The character development in Other is exquisite. Gwen is an endearing protagonist, who narrates the story, and is relatable, as she discovers her identity, and the struggles of becoming an Other.
The secondary characters are also rich and diverse, each with their own quirks and secrets, adding depth to the world that Kincy has created. The pacing of the novel is well-thought-out, without a lull in the action, with the story building meticulously towards the climax.
The plot twists are a pleasant surprise, in that they dont happen for the sake of being unpredictable, but rather they serve as a natural progression of the narrative. Kincys writing style is descriptive, with imagery that transports readers to the forests and roaring rivers of Pacific Northwest, heightening the senses while reading.
The language itself is not overly complex; this simplicity allows for the characters to shine through. Although the book has its flaws, including occasional instances of melodramatic dialogue, and a slightly rushed resolution, these issues do little to take away from the overall quality of Other.
Karen Kincys unique take on shapeshifter novels is refreshing, and distinguished by strong world-building, compelling characters, and a gripping plot. This book is a rare gem that stands out in the genre, which should certainly earn it a spot on readers bookshelves.
Other is well-worth a read, and this reviewer would give it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.